Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing the User Name in Existing Comments.

Changing the User Name in Existing Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 27, 2014)

29

Denise notes that when she uses Track Changes and inserts a comment, the user's name shows in the comment. When she is ready to finalize the document, but with Track Changes still on, Denise wonders if she can go back and change the user name on one or more comments.

There are a couple of things you can do to make the changes. First, you could change the user name and initials to the name you want in the comments and then, effectively, recreate the comments. (You can copy the comment into the Clipboard and then paste it back into the document.) This has a downside, however, as the date and time stamp for the comment will be updated to reflect when you recreated the comment.

Perhaps a better approach is to use a macro to make the changes. When a comment is created, it is added to the Comments collection, which can be accessed through VBA. Each comment has Author and Initial properties that, respectively, represent the comment author's name and initials. The following macro is an example of how these can be changed:

Sub ChangeCommentAuthor()
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim sAuthorname As String
    Dim sInitial As String

    If Selection.Comments.Count = 0 Then
        MsgBox "No comments in your selection!", _
          vbCritical + vbOKOnly, "Cannot perform action"
        Exit Sub
    End If

    sAuthorname = InputBox("New author name?", _
      "Comments Author Name")
    If sAuthorname = "" Then End

    sInitial = InputBox("New author initials?", _
      "Comments Initials")
    If sInitial = "" Then End

    With Selection
        For J = 1 To .Comments.Count
            .Comments(J).Author = sAuthorname
            .Comments(J).Initial = sInitial
        Next J
    End With
End Sub

All you need to do is make a selection that contains the comment you want to modify (select the text in the main document that includes the comment indicator) and then run the macro. Enter a new name and initials when prompted. When the macro is done running, it may not appear like anything has changed. If you save your document and reload it, you'll note that the comment author names have been changed as you indicated.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8614) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the User Name in Existing Comments.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is one less than 4?

2017-06-03 02:27:45

Georgia

This is so helpful, thank you. Exactly what I needed!


2017-01-12 06:07:06

Jacques Raubenheimer

Hi Adam

Yes, see my Word uTIlities.
http://insight.trueinsight.za.com/word/word-utilities


2017-01-11 20:18:12

adam phillips

can something similar be done to change the name on edits (not comments)?


2017-01-11 20:16:47

adam phillips

fantastic. this helped me tremendously and was absolutely simple to do.


2016-10-11 11:30:57

Kathy

Ran this macro on Word 2013 and worked like a gem! Thank you!!!


2016-09-29 13:08:05

pepper

This works but it will not save the changes, once I hit save, it defaults to old authors.


2016-08-31 18:51:13

Tori

Jacques Raubenheimer your utility is magic. Updated all my comments AND edits in seconds. Huge thank you to Allen Wyatt for this article where I could find a macro for the comments (also worked perfectly) and this awesome utility for both comments and edits. I own a book editing company and will be sharing with all my editors. So much appreciation.


2016-07-19 12:33:38

Celeste

Thank you so much! This was a quick and easy fix to my problem : )


2016-05-22 11:54:17

Aysegul

Excellent, thanks :)


2016-04-20 17:02:55

Rafael

Excellent, thanks! It worked perfectly on Word 2013!


2015-05-15 05:18:46

Jacques Raubenheimer

Hi Ilya

Send me an e-mail at trueinsight.consulting@gmail.com and I will try to see if I can figure out what is causing that error in the Word uTIlities.


2015-05-14 09:20:07

Ilya

Is there any way to change the author of the revisions in Word? Unfortunately this feature in UTIlities doesn't work (it says 'type mismatch').


2015-02-08 14:01:24

Jacques Raubenheimer

Michelle.
What works? My UTIlity for this, or the macro provided in the tip?
Word's rules for the colour of the user/reviewer are pretty arbitrary, so that different colours for the same reviewer could even be used if the document is opened on another system. So trying to change that is a bit of an exercise in futility. If you can, I would advise that you learn to live with that. As you said, it is a tiny distraction.


2015-02-08 02:01:21

Michelle

Works, thanks! Word 2013. But changes the color of my little generic avatar and my text highlights, as if I were a different user. It's a tiny thing but distracting and I sure wish I could fix it.


2015-01-29 13:20:09

Linda Rawlinson

Jacques Raubenheimer, I've just downloaded your Word uTilities and used it to change the author name of both the comments and the revisions. It works absolutely beautifully, and is exactly the tool I need.

I'm a freelance editor, and I have to change the author name frequently as I work for different companies. Occasionally I forget to do this, and sometimes don't notice until I've sent the edited document back.

Thanks!


2014-12-01 23:27:51

RespectAll

Nice! I wish it worked with Revisions... but Revisions.Author is read only.


2014-09-23 17:42:31

gdorf

very very cool. Helped me comment on a document with anonymity, for a good reason too.


2014-07-22 22:24:55

TC N

Bravo Andrew, nice simplistic approach to a common problem. Found myself over thinking this for a minute.


2014-04-13 08:26:45

Ben Adelie

I was wondering if you could help me further on this? I want to not only change comment name and initials, also to attach that comment to a certain Microsoft account. I cannot seem to find any specific object property in MSDN to deal with this.


2013-11-14 07:50:40

Jacques Raubenheimer

If you need a tool to change the revision authors as well, my Word uTIlities (free download) contain a tool that does the job: http://insight.trueinsight.za.com/word/word-utilities
The use of the tool is discussed here:
http://insight.trueinsight.za.com/archives/256


2013-10-22 09:24:38

Andrew Martin

If anyone else is looking for the Debby Doxey solution.
Just a few tweaks will get the result.
I have commented out the selection part and presumed you want to do this for the whole document. If you want to return to selection only, you'll need to change the for..next loop

Sub ChangeCommentsBySingleAuthor()
Dim J As Integer
Dim sAuthorname As String
Dim sOrigInitial As String
Dim sInitial As String

' If Selection.Comments.Count = 0 Then
' MsgBox "No comments in your selection!", _
' vbCritical + vbOKOnly, "Cannot perform action"
' Exit Sub
' End If


sOrigInitial = InputBox("Initials of the Author to change", _
"Comments Initials")
If sOrigInitial = "" Then End

sAuthorname = InputBox("New author name?", _
"Comments Author Name")
If sAuthorname = "" Then End

sInitial = InputBox("New author initials?", _
"Comments Initials")
If sInitial = "" Then End

With ActiveDocument
For J = 1 To .Comments.Count
If .Comments(J).Initial = sOrigInitial Then
.Comments(J).Author = sAuthorname
.Comments(J).Initial = sInitial
End If
Next J
End With
End Sub


2013-10-16 17:22:57

Mark Balhorn

Very clever approach - thank you!


2012-12-20 14:45:12

Hyrulian

OK, I just realized that the macro is only for the commnents inserted in a track change document, how can we modify macro to change user name on previous changes with another user?


2012-12-20 14:28:26

Hyrulian

I am having troubles in Word 2007, while running the macro appears me the message of "No comments on your selection" but I have many changes in the document, am I ignoring something in oreder to run correctly the macro???


2012-12-04 13:48:56

Manuel

Very, very good!! Parabens, e auguri desde ROma


2012-11-27 16:51:27

Milady Peters

This worked flawlessly in Word 2010. I created the macro, highlighted the entire document and ran it. It prompted me for name and initials and changed every comment author for me. I did notice that both of my original comment authors still appear in the Reviewer List, but no comments are attributed to either one.


2012-09-15 11:51:53

Debby Doxey

I also noticed that after I used this macro to change the comment name and initials for an author in Word 2007, his name still appeared in the list of reviewers (Review > Show Markup > Reviewers).

I was drawn to this macro because twice I have needed to attribute my tracked changes and comments (with permission, of course) to my customer, so he could submit the ones he agreed with to his customer. It's clear now that to accomplish this, I had to recognize the need up front and temporarily change my user name and initials to his. Live and learn.

Having said all that, I'd still love answers to the questions in my earlier post. Anyone?


2012-09-15 11:27:28

Debby Doxey

I tried this in Word 2007, and it worked. (Haven't tried it in Word 2010.) But it only worked for the selected comment. It didn't apply the new name (which appears in the bubble when you hover over the comment [whether in the text or the margin]) or the new initials (which identify the comment in the margin) to other comments by the same author. How can the macro be modified to find and change all the comments for a given author? Or how can I select all the comments from a given author and then run the macro? One more thing: I wondered if the macro changed the name and initials for tracked changes by the author. It does not.


2012-08-24 00:08:08

Allan Gotthelf

This is ridiculously complicated. I can't believe it's the only way to do it.


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